Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have been unusually standoffish when it comes to finalizing their coaching staff. Belichick seems willing to have a loose collection of random assistants on the offensive side of the ball rather than the regular org chart that most teams possess.
With Josh McDaniels now the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, Belichick has not named an offensive coordinator or offensive play-caller. Matt Patricia and former Giants head coach Joe Judge are floating around the staff, but neither has been given formal titles.
This is a backward approach to team-building. Not only is Belichick refusing to pick one leader who can orchestrate the offense, but two of his top offensive assistants in Patricia and Judge have no experience coaching that side of the ball in the pros.
Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal was alarmed by some of the quotes coming from Judge, who doesn’t seem to think that New England’s unprecedented and weird system has flaws. If you’re to take Judge at his word, this is the ideal way to put a staff together.
“It’s important right now for all of our coaches to be able to coach all the skill players,” Judge said. “It’s important that if it’s a ball-handling drill, and [running backs coach] Vinnie Sunseri is running it, that Vinnie can coach the quarterbacks as well. We’re all on the same page.”
This is not going to end well.
The Patriots have a weird coaching staff and Joe Judge’s comments prove it
There’s a difference between making sure that all of Belichick’s assistants have a certain amount of rapport with the players and having a committee approach for crucial coordinator positions. Making a special teams coach and a defensive coordinator the two top offensive assistants is a recipe for disaster.
If Belichick wasn’t big on naming official coordinators, why was McDaniels the designated coordinator for all of those years? This seems like Belichick is trying to save face after either missing out on all of his big-name candidates or finding out he lacked an internal candidate worthy of promotion.
There’s a reason no other team in the league operates like this. Because it doesn’t work! Belichick is usually one or two steps ahead of the rest of the NFL, but this is a classic case of trying to reinvent the wheel and outsmart everyone else.
Just pick a coordinator and be done with this whole charade.